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Handstan by Linda Sue Park
Posted by: Geoff (192.168.128.---)
Date: February 13, 2006 04:54PM

Handstand


There isn't anything that's not important. Your toes
must be pointed, knees locked, buttocks clenched
to the edge of pain. Ribs arch, torso elongates
to an elegance impossible elsewhere. Shoulders
extended, you glare at your hands. So much
for the easy part, and truly, it is easy; you need only
get there and freeze the parts into place, then a corner
of your brain will keep them cold while you turn
inward, to the challenge. No one but another
gymnast would guess that it lies in the pressure
from ten whorled pads, in the hinge between hand
and forearm. Adjusting by microns, fingertip, wrist,
you play as a child, gravity the most beautiful of toys.
You could stay up forever, the world inverted
but in such perfect balance that coming down
is like a small deaththe line breaks, your feet
touch the mat, your spine reclaims its ordinary
curves; you are dull and mortal as before.


Linda Sue Park

Narrative or not a narrative?


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Re: Handstan by Linda Sue Park
Posted by: Hugh Clary (192.168.128.---)
Date: February 13, 2006 05:35PM

From Bob's Byway:

[www.poeticbyway.com] />
<[www.poeticbyway.com] />
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<[www.poeticbyway.com] />
Personally, I would label it lyric, but would not quarrel with a definition of dramatic or narrative. Do those definitions leave you feeling that something is lacking in such labels? Me, too.


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Re: Handstan by Linda Sue Park
Posted by: Geoff (192.168.128.---)
Date: February 13, 2006 05:58PM

any ideas on what its about or if its a narrative?


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Re: Handstan by Linda Sue Park
Posted by: Hugh Clary (192.168.128.---)
Date: February 14, 2006 12:48PM

Superficially, it is about how one performs a handstand.

Looking at the definition on Bob's Byway:

NARRATIVE

The narration of an event or story, stressing details of plot, incident, and action. Along with dramatic and lyric verse, it is one of the three main groups of poetry.

We can say that it details an event: performing a handstand. It has some action and a semblance of a plot of sorts. Does that make it a narrative poem? Sure, why not.

Does the poem go beyond merely outlining how to do a handstand? Are there any of life's lessons to be gained from the experience? Is the experience exhilarating? Is one superhuman from having such a skill?


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Re: Handstan by Linda Sue Park
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: February 14, 2006 01:52PM

Narrative, yes. Trouble with labels, as Linda suggests, also yes.

What is it about: personal challenge, athletic trial/triumph, human endeavor, gymnastics.


Les

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/14/2006 01:53PM by lg.


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